Colors of Carlsbad: The Real-Life Instagram Filter

colors of carlsbad
Carlsbad State Beach
colors of carlsbad
Carlsbad State Beach

Nowadays, there’s countless things that inspire us to drop everything and book a flight, from an article to an Instagram post. But did you know certain colors can motivate you to give in to that wanderlust? In fact a recent study conducted by Visit Carlsbad, Pantone Color Institute and the influencer marketing firm HireInfluence, revealed there are four trending hues that are used in travel photos across social channels that kickstart that color psychology in us. The 2018 Colors of Travel study analyzed a slew of outdoor adventure and lifestyle travel photos with high engagement from top U.S. travel influencers and revealed those colors to be Island Paradise (PANTONE 14-4620), Salmon (PANTONE 14-1323), Eden (PANTONE 19-6050), and Brandied Melon (PANTONE 16-1340).

colors of carlsbad

Eden: From the rolling green hills of Ireland and thick forests of pine trees to the lush and buzzing jungles of the Amazon, Eden brings out the best of nature’s colors.

Island Paradise: Maybe the most obvious of the four colors, Island Paradise is rooted in oceans and infinity-edge pools. From coastal shores to crystal-clear waters surrounding the Maldives, Island Paradise is the ultimate vacation color. But it also brings to mind the icy glaciers of Antarctica, the refreshing escape of a spa and the glowing blue lagoons of Iceland.

Salmon: An orangey-pink shade, Salmon is an innocent color with soft warmth, from Hawaiian sunsets to bouquets of flowers and maybe even the best bikini color out there.

Brandied Melon: This rusty hue brings to mind desert sand dunes in the Middle East, amber sunsets, autumn trees with leaves barely hanging on and Haciendas lining Mexican roads.

colors of carlsbad

While you can find these four colors all over the world, I had the chance to discover them in Carlsbad, California. About an hours drive north of San Diego, the small beach town sometimes gets lost in the Santa Monica’s and Newport’s of the state, but it’s not one to miss. You may know it as where Legoland is found, but there’s plenty more to see than just that. The small city has that coveted beach-town vibe without the touristy feel. Here, everyone feels like a local.

For the most colorful view of Carlsbad, visit March through mid-May when The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch are in full bloom. The 50-plus acre farmland is home to rows and rows of brightly-colored Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers, creating an ombre field of picture-worthy spots at every turn. While you can’t freely traipse through the fields, there’s many “cutouts” that let you get that perfect shot.

colors of carlsbad
The Flower Fields

To shop bouquets of the flowers and snack on some seriously delicious bites, explore the pedestrian-friendly streets of Carlsbad Village by perusing the State Street Farmer’s Market. If you’re looking to kick back and relax while you dine, grab a slice and beer at Pizza Port Brewing Company or make your way to Park 101, a multi-level BBQ joint with a trendy, neighborhood vibe. For a more upscale meal, head to Campfire. The former mechanic’s garage-turned restaurant now serves as a camping-themed outlet. In fact, the trendy spot was packed on a casual Wednesday night, a testament to the vibes and food. If I could live off of their roasted broccoli and cavatelli with braised lamb for the rest of time, I would. There’s no such thing as too much of either of these dishes and honestly, a visit to Carlsbad without a meal at Campfire would be wrong.

To explore more of Carlsbad Village, hop on a Pedego Electric Bike. The bike shop is conveniently located near Pacific Coast Highway so you can easily cruise the coast and take in all the best views of the beach. For a quick cool down, pay Carlsbad Lagoon a visit where you can rent kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, peddle bikes, jet skis and more. And if completely checking out of reality is looking all too good, book an appointment at Ocean Crest Spa at Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton Resort. The Red Algae Spa Treatment is a soothing relief for tired feet, not to mention a perfect addition to your Instagram feed.

Where to Stay

For a family-friendly retreat, book a stay at Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa that just completed a sleek renovation and for a more upscale experience with European charm, stunning lagoon views and a championship golf course, opt for the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Golf Club & Spa. If you’re after a more modern, contemporary hotel near the beach, check in at Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton Resort.  

colors of carlsbad

The Colors of Carlsbad

So where exactly can you find these social media-savvy hues around Carlsbad? We’ve got you covered. After all, why filter your feed when Carlsbad can do it for you.

Eden: Tee up (or simply take in the views) of the Aviara Golf course or surround yourself in the lush landscape at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort or Sheraton Carlsbad, the latter of which also has a delicious Eden-colored cocktail.

Island Paradise: Aside from the obvious resort pools and Carlsbad State Beach, find Island Paradise at Carlsbad Lagoon, where you can rent kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis and more. Or snap it in a glass; the Aloe Black cocktail at Campfire is a mix of tequila, aloe, violet, cucumber and lemon.

Salmon: Order up a glass of frosé at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort’s pool complex or in between bites at Park 101. You’ll also be able to find acres of the orangey-pink hue at The Flower Fields. 

Brandied Melon: Sip the Native Tongue cocktail at Campfire, a Mezcal-based drink with Guajillo chile and chocolate chili bitters. Or, jump on one of the vibrantly-colored bikes at Pedego Electric Bikes. Not having to pedal means more time to catch that shot.

For even more spots around town to find each shade, visit:

For more information on visiting Carlsbad, visit:

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